Boeing requested ground restraints for 128 of its 777-type commercial jets around the world on Sunday, which United Airlines did in the aftermath of a dramatic engine failure on one of its planes over the Colorado.
While the US Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority (FAA) on Sunday ordered additional inspections on certain Boeing 777-type commercial aircraft, United Airlines, the company that was the victim of the incident, and the two main Japanese airlines, JAL and ANA, pinned down their devices with an engine similar to the one that caused the problem.
The United States National Transportation and Safety Board is also investigating the incident, in which no one was injured.
‘While the investigation is ongoing, we have recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service 777 aircraft and 59 in stock aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines,’ Boeing said in a statement.
United said it had voluntarily withdrawn 24 Boeing 777s from service and expected ‘only a small number of customers will be inconvenienced’.
Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced that they had grounded 13 and 19 aircraft with PW4000 engines, respectively, but avoided flight cancellations by using other aircraft.
Japan’s Transport Ministry said it had ordered more stringent engine inspections after a JAL 777 plane flying from Tokyo Haneda Airport in Naha, on the island of Okinawa, had problems with ‘ an engine from the same family ‘in December.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the head of the US Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority, Steve Dickson, said that after consulting his team of aviation safety experts, he asked them to publish an instruction to emergency airworthiness which would require immediate or in-depth inspections of Boeing 777 aircraft equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines’.
Hard blow after the setbacks of the 737 MAX
According to NBC News, US federal officials said South Korea also uses devices with Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines.
A United Airlines Boeing 777-220, which had taken off Saturday from Denver (Colorado) for Honolulu (Hawaii) with 231 passengers and 10 crew members, had to turn around urgently after the fire in his right reactor.
The aircraft was able to land safely at Denver Airport and none of its occupants were injured.
As the Boeing returned to the airport, a shower of debris, some large, fell in a residential area in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver. No one was injured on the ground, according to local authorities.
The American aircraft manufacturer has had a serious problem in recent years with another of its models, the 737 MAX. The plane was banned from flying in March 2019 after two accidents that killed 346, that of Lion Air in Indonesia in October 2018 (189 dead) and that of Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019 in Ethiopia (157 dead).
After more than 20 months of prohibition, a modification of the flight control software and the implementation of new pilot training protocols, the aircraft was allowed to fly again.
The resumption of commercial flights of the Boeing 737 MAX took place from December 2020, first in Brazil, then in the United States and Canada. The first commercial flight in Europe, under the colors of the Belgian company TUI fly, took place on Wednesday February 17 between Brussels and Alicante then Malaga, in Spain.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its catastrophic consequences on international air transport have led to the cancellation of orders for hundreds of aircraft.
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